On August 23, Hong Jin Young took to Instagram to share the news that she had filed a lawsuit against her longtime agency to terminate her exclusive contract.
The following is her statement:
Hello, this is Hong Jin Young. I am about to deliver some sudden and serious news to everyone today…
I have taken legal proceedings to terminate my contract with the agency that I have thought of as family for over 10 years, from my debut until now. I have been thinking over this decision every day since April, and every day was painful with doubts, worries, and fears.
Because I trusted and was loyal to my agency, I never tried to properly assert my own opinion to the agency but immersed myself in the work without ever skipping out on my schedule.
After seeing various online comments that accused me of being unhealthily obsessed with money, I hated that I had that kind of image and there were many times when I wished I could take a break. But I thought that working hard to perform at multiple consecutive events per day and dozens and dozens of events per month was repaying my agency for taking me in when I was nothing.
But suddenly my health took a turn for the worse and in the beginning of June, I had to have surgery for inflammation of the lower abdomen. It was very difficult to carry out my scheduled events and I pleaded to them that I was in pain multiple times, but they enforced my schedule nonetheless. Moreover, there were many things that were taking place in my name but without my knowledge. There was a dual contract with an advertiser that I didn’t know about, and there were suspicious accounting practices like subtracting money every month in the name of “commissions” through a paper company. At the very least, this money would amount to millions of won, and sometimes would even run to ten millions of won. They forced me to enter into joint business contracts that I didn’t want and would subtract some of the profits from my events and commercial advertisements. After thinking it over, I sent my agency a notice to terminate my exclusive contract in June.
Even I did not think that the situation would ever become like this. We were a family, and I had iron faith in them. We had spent so much time together that I thought there must have been a misunderstanding. Until the very end, I trusted that there might be an explanation or an apology.
But the agency did not apologize, only gave excuses, and did not acknowledge that they had done wrong. After seeing that, I decided that I could no longer be in a relationship of trust with them.
Today, I sent the court an application for an injunction against my agency to terminate the effect of my exclusive contract. I have decided to sue representatives of my agency, whose betrayal was even greater by the fact that they had always said that we were like family. I am also pained that things have come to this. I was not able to sleep comfortably and spent many days crying to myself. Even while writing this, I have tears in my eyes. I want to show everyone my bright personality and promised myself when I was a rookie that I would not show myself having a hard time. I’m really sorry to be showing this side of myself to everyone now.
I trusted my agency for so many years that the betrayal that I’ve witnessed over the past few months has left a huge wound. I have to fight on my own now, and I judged that it would be best if I told everyone this news directly, so that’s why I’m writing this. I’m sorry for causing concern to the people who have supported me.
Music K Entertainment Responds To Hong Jin Young’s Lawsuit For Contract Termination
On August 23, Music K Entertainment put out an official press release in response to Hong Jin Young’s statement on Instagram that explained why she had filed a lawsuit for contract termination against the agency.
The press release is as follows:
Hello, this is Music K Entertainment, the company in charge of singer Hong Jin Young’s exclusive management.
We have seen what Hong Jin Young uploaded online on Friday. Regardless of the truth, we would first like to apologize to the fans for causing them concern.
Our agency was in ongoing discussions with Hong Jin Young to resolve our misunderstandings, so we cannot help but regret that Hong Jin Young one-sidedly revealed her position through a social media post. Music K has been with Hong Jin Young since her debut and ever since we signed an exclusive management contract with her in March 2014, we have mentally and emotionally supported her entertainment career.
From the moment of her debut until now, we have always fulfilled our management duties by respecting Hong Jin Young’s opinions. We set out her schedule so that Hong Jin Young would have time to rest (her average break time was around 90 days and in the first half of 2019, she rested 52 days). We did our best to negotiate and promote in such a way that Hong Jin Young could appear in the broadcasts and commercials that she chose. More than anything else, we were liberal in investing in content production such as music and album making so that Hong Jin Young could give the public good music.
In addition, although the initial contract period had not yet expired and we were not legally bound to do so, we readily agreed to Hong Jin Young’s request to renew the contract twice. Every time we renewed the contract, we increased her share of profits and accepted other conditions that Hong Jin Young wanted. This is because Music K’s motto is that loyalty to our artists is more important than pecuniary interests. Thankfully, many people repaid the work of our artist and agency by showing Hong Jin Young a lot of love, and therefore Hong Jin Young was able to make more than 10 billion won (about $8.2 million) over 5 years.
However, at the beginning of this year, not long after the second contract renewal on December 29, 2018, Hong Jin Young began requesting that certain parts of the contract be erased. These parts included the clause that artists would have to pay damages to the agency if the artist suddenly decided to terminate the contract. (This is a standard clause for exclusive contracts that was approved by the Fair Trade Commission.) When Music K stated that it was difficult to change the content of the contract without sufficient reason, Hong Jin Young appointed two law firms, one of which is the biggest law firm in the country, and requested every contract that we had made with third parties as well as evidence of our accounting in those deals. Music K released these documents and soon we were accused of manipulating the accounts. Music K responded faithfully to these requests for transparency and gave all the additional documents requested by Hong Jin Young and her legal representatives.
But suddenly in June 2019, Hong Jin Young asked us to cancel her scheduled events without giving any valid reasons and started acting in other inexplicable ways. Hong Jin Young has claimed that we made her attend schedules during her surgery, but the agency only received an ordinary message from her saying that she wasn’t able to attend the schedule that day and she never mentioned a surgery to us. Moreover, Hong Jin Young left for a holiday in Southeast Asia two days later and there was no evidence for the agency to be concerned about her health.
It is also untrue that Music K ever entered into a dual contract with an advertiser. We responded transparently to these accusations from the legal representative as well. Despite Music K’s hard work in this regard, Hong Jin Young sent us a notice that she was one-sidedly terminating her exclusive contract on June 24. Since we could not accept Hong Jin Young’s one-sided notice, we would like to clarify that Music K and Hong Jin Young’s contract still stands.
Music K has done our best to explain all the suspicions that Hong Jin Young had and we plan to continue to explain things in future so that misunderstandings can be resolved. We will do our best to resolve the misunderstandings and the conflicts that have arisen. Once again, we apologize to the fans for causing them concern. Thank you.
What team are you on?
Team Hong Jin Young
Team Music K
Team No one
source: @soompi, soompi 1 2, naver 1 2 3, sambahong